A thief without an opportunity ...
Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 99 15:41:27 -0700
Subject: A thief without an opportunity ...
Forwarded-by: Nev Dull <email@example.com>
Forwarded-by: Keith Sullivan <KSullivan@worldnet.att.net>
DON'T LET THE TAX MAN BUG YOU
By P.S. Wall (Off the Wall), June 21, 1998
"A word of advice," the tax auditor says as he strolls into Sweetie's
office. "The fish is killed by its open mouth."
"Confucius?" I ask.
"Mafia Handbook," he says. Leave it to Sweetie and me to get audited by
Vito, the Mafia Tax Man.
Casually taking a look around the room, Tax Man suddenly pulls out a
flashlight and takes a peek under Sweetie's desk.
"Old habits are hard to break," he says as he climbs up on a chair.
"Old habits?" I ask, frowning up at him.
"Used to own an exterminating business," he says as he drives a pen knife
into an exposed beam.
An exterminator on the IRS fast track. We're doomed.
"So," Tax Man says, dusting his hands off and dropping into a chair, "are
you nervous about the audit?"
"Should we be?" I ask.
"Well, you know what they say," he says as he pops the lock on his
briefcase. "Make a mistake with the Mafia, you wake up with a horse head
in your bed. Make a mistake with the IRS, you wake up without a bed."
I make a note to put the bed in my mother's name.
Meanwhile, Sweetie is leaning back in his chair, calmly tapping his fingers
together under his chin. He's so cool his mustache is starting to frost.
"An honest man is never nervous," Sweetie comments casually.
"A thief without an opportunity calls himself an honest man," Tax Man
And the wife of the man who picks fights with the IRS gets conjugal visits.
"Do you need to see the W-2s?" Sweetie asks, pulling out a file.
"The eagle doesn't hunt flies," Tax Man huffs.
Taking his glasses out of their case, Tax Man carefully curls them behind
his ears. Sighing, he starts combing through the financials.
"Whoa!" he suddenly says, when he sees how many taxes we pay. "This has
"I never begrudge paying taxes," Sweetie shrugs. I turn to see if Sweetie
is foaming at the mouth. "The more you pay, the more money your business
must be making," he explains. "Next year, I hope we pay twice as much!"
Tax Man glances over the file at Sweetie.
"It doesn't bother you that the average American works from January to May
to pay his taxes?" he asks.
"Look at all we get for it," Sweetie says, squinting a bit as he sips his
"You're telling me it doesn't infuriate you to call the IRS for help, and
even they can't figure it out?"
Sweetie blows it off with a flip of the hand. "That's why we pay our tax
accountant out the nose."
"Come on," Tax Man says, leaning forward in his chair. "When we charge you
21 percent interest -- PLUS penalties -- doesn't it make you want to squeeze
Sweetie leans across the desk to meet him. "It's a small price to pay for
the freedom to own your own business and be your own boss."
Tax Man falls back in his chair.
"You know what?" he suddenly asks, snapping his briefcase closed.
"Sweetie's future cell mate is a weight lifter named Roto-Rooter?" I
"No, you have termites." Slapping a tattered business card on Sweetie's
desk, Tax Man heads for the door. "Give me a call."
"Sweetie," I say, as we watch Tax Man drive away, "have you ever considered
using your powers for good?"
"Too taxing," Sweetie says.
Copyright 1998 P.S. Wall. All rights reserved.
© 1999 Peter Langston